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A Harvest celebration for Playtime 2016

tree with leaf border

A story for Harvest celebration

This story is based on the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4.  It is just the first part since young children need to learn how a seed grows in order to understand the full parable in later years. Toddler groups might like to invite their minister along to explain (very briefly) the meaning of the story to the adults.

 

Ready:  Set up a harvest table. Ask everyone to bring an item along to put on the table and decorate it with autumn flowers, a pumpkin and a harvest loaf. Tape the letters “H-a-r-v-e-s-t” to the front.

If possible, let the children play with a toy farm when they arrive.

 

Teddy: Dress Teddy as a farmer (dungarees, paper hat etc.) and bring a toy wheelbarrow with four ‘seeds’ in it (e.g. four counters from a board game).

Go: You’re ready to explain how a seed grows.

Story-telling tips: Put some items in a basket that can illustrate the story, such as a toy scarecrow, toy bird, watering can, and a baby courgette, medium courgette and marrow!

Ask everyone to practice the sound of the wind before you tell the story.

 


 

Welcome: Hello everyone! Did you like playing with the farm? All the farmers are very busy at the moment getting in their crops before the winter.

At harvest, we say a big THANK YOU for our food and we share some of it with others. Has anyone brought something for our harvest table? (Go round and identify a few things …)

SONG: To the tune ‘Skip to my Lou’

X [child’s name] has brought a X [e.g jar of jam], (x 3)

To put on the harvest table.

Play music as everyone brings their gift to the table.

The story basket 

Leader: Look at Teddy, everyone! He’s dressed up as a farmer!

Teddy bear the Gardener (Farmer). Cartoon vector illustration. Series of

Farmer Ted’s off for a walk. What does he see?

He sees the sun shining in the sky.

He sees the vegetables growing in a row.

And he sees Scarecrow trying to scare away the hungry birds.

 

SONG: The sun has got his hat on

The sun has got his hat on.

Hip, hip, hip, hooray!

The sun has got his hat on,

And he’s coming out to play!

 

The farmer’s got his hat on …

And he’s working hard today!

 

The scarecrow’s got his hat on …

But those birds are here to stay! Squawk!

Leader: But what’s this? Farmer Ted looks in his wheelbarrow and what does he find? Four seeds! Oh, dear! They won’t grow in there. They need to be planted in the earth. I wonder what they might grow into? What do you think …?

farmer with a basket of vegetables , vector graphics

Farmer Ted decides to find out. He picks up the first seed and tosses it into the air. Whoosh!

The wind blows …

All: Whoosh, whoosh!

Leader: It whirls and twirls the seed, then drops it on the stony path. Ouch! “That seed looks tasty,” squawk the crows. “Let’s fly down and gobble it up.” Scarecrow tries to scare them away. “Go away, you naughty birds!” But the crows take no notice. They fly down and peck, peck, peck the seed for their breakfast!

SONG: To the tune ‘The wheels on the bus’

The wings on the birds go flap, flap, flap …

All day long.

The beaks on the birds go peck, peck, peck …

All day long.

Leader: “What a shame,” thinks Farmer Ted. “Never mind! I’ll plant the second seed.” He picks it up and tosses it into the air. Whoosh!

The wind blows …

All: Whoosh, whoosh!

Leader: The wind whirls and twirls the seed, then drops it into the rocky earth beside the path. The seed sends up some green shoots to celebrate.

All: (wave arms above heads) Hooray!

Leader: But the sun is hot and soon the seed is thirsty. It tries to push down some roots for a drink of water, but the earth is much too stony. Very quickly it dries up and flops over. Flop!

“What a pity,” says Farmer Ted. “Never mind! I’ll sow the third seed.” He picks it up and tosses it into the air. Whoosh!

The wind blows …

All: Whoosh, whoosh!

GettyImages-165960962a

Leader: It whirls and twirls the seed, then drops it between the dandelions! The seed tries to grow …

All: (make stretching sounds and movements)

Leader: But the greedy weeds are in the way and the seed hasn’t got enough room.

“Oh no,” thinks Farmer Ted. “I’ve only got one seed left.” He picks it up and tosses it into the air. Whoosh!

The wind blows …

All: Whoosh, whoosh!

Leader: It whirls and twirls the seed and drops it … in a lovely soft bed of brown earth. The seed is very happy. It sends down some roots and it sends up some shoots! Farmer Ted waters the seed … and it grows … (show baby courgette) … and it grows … (show courgette) … and it grows  … into a great big marrow!

“Shoots and roots! What a magnificent marrow,” thinks Farmer Ted. “I wonder who made it grow?”

SONG: To the tune ‘Skip to my Lou’

Thank you, God, for all your gifts, (x3)

To put on the harvest table.

 


 

Parent take-away:

Why not suggest to the adults that they continue the theme of seeds at home? One idea is for children to grow some mustard and cress seeds in a plastic cup with a funny face drawn on the front. Once grown, the children could then ‘harvest’ the crop and eat it in a sandwich. Or how about saying a simple grace before a Sunday?